Twice this month I’ve had other things to do on my usual Wednesday shopping day. So I’ve had to brave the supermarket with the little lad in tow, literally, towing him along as he hangs upside down off the trolley.
Now all you wonderful mums and dads who don’t mind a bit of toddler taming in the aisles of Pak n Sav – all power to you. But if it’s all the same I’d prefer to leave the little folk behind so I can actually think about how much yogurt we need in peace.
It’s not that he’s a total terror. He doesn’t pull stuff off shelves or scream when I say no to something. It’s just that the supermarket provides ample space for break dancing, or having moves like Jagger, and no amount of explaining on my part will help him understand why everyone else isn’t shuffling past the potatoes and the kumera, a la ‘party rock anthem.’
When he’s not using the bright supermarket lights in preparation for his future as a member of a boy band or a stint on dancing with the stars, he likes to race. He bends down like he’s on the starting blocks for an Olympic sprint race, counts himself down and he’s off… god forbid you’re not quick enough or you’ll be bowled like skittles at a bowling alley.
Of course there are moments when he’s still, he likes to just hanging about every now and then, again, literally. Like a monkey. He also likes to spend this otherwise still time saying things like “Mum, look at me, look at Mum, look what I can do, look at me backwards, Look at meeeee.” And following the hanging comes the climbing. Also like a monkey, either on the trolley or up the sides of the freezers, where the nice supermarket people have put bar things at just the perfect height for a pre-schooler.
Now, while I don’t mind a bit of multi-tasking, it’s pushing my limits trying to drive a trolley load of groceries in a way that will not chop off the toes of the older gentleman choosing which block of chocolate he’ll go with this week, trying to read the list so as I don’t end up with three varieties of crackers and no loo rolls, and keeping the eyes that are in the back of my head fully trained on the little monkey, all the while my mouth working constantly…
“Get down, get down, move over, get down, stand up, stand up, STAND UP, get down, stop climbing, move over, move over more, go, go, move, STOP, stop, wait, stop, get up, get down. Did you hear what I said?”
“No, I didn’t Mum, cause I was too busy shuffling… do do do do do do!”
Then of course half way round the call goes out.
“Mum, I need to go TOOORR-LET.” Having preempted this, I reply,
“No you don’t, remember you just went at home.”
This is not a question, but a statement. I did make him go at home. I wish I felt safe in my correctness, but with kids, being correct does not always mean you are right. Or that things will go the way you want them to.
“I know I went but I need to go again. You know I’m busting it might just come out Mum.” Nothing like standing with a full load of groceries, foot propping open the supermarket toilet door so as the little lad doesn’t lock himself in (oh, you so know he would!) and shuffling through your handbag for the hand sanitizer because you can’t see round the corner and you have no idea what he’s touching in there – and you don’t really want to know!
And that, my dear chickens, is why I like to shop on Wednesdays. Ashton gets to go to Kindy and hang with his mates, shuffling and break dancing and racing around without his mother ruining the fun. And his mother gets to ramble through the supermarket, choosing which ever jam she wants, and elderly folk can go about their shopping without fear of loosing a toe.
We’re all winners when I shop on Wednesday!